Forum Debate: Anakin Skywalker, tragic hero or cowardly traitor?

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith (Non-Spoilers)' started by Obi-Wan McCartney, Oct 10, 2000.

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  1. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Yeah, but ONE good choice doesn't make up for a lifetime of evil, IMHO.

    And it still doesn't mean that when he turned he was being a cowardly traitor.

    I am of the opinion that fear played a big part in Anakin's downfall, probably not as a coward though, implying he was afraid for himself. His fear for his loved ones will be his undoing, I'm afraid.

    Luckily Luke proved to be much stronger at staying the course of light.
  2. GS335 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2001
    star 4
    As I said over and over, people change, and change for the better. When you do the right thing, and repent and pay the price, than it is the step in the right direction, to make up for the evil you did. He can not go back and change what he did, but him saving Luke was the step in the right direction, and since he let go of all his anger at the end, and saved his son out of love and compassion, he was a hero for that. And, he redeemed himself. Is it so hard for people to understand this? I am sorry, but I just get very tired of some people saying that no one can make up for the evil he/she did. Who are we to judge? Are we God? No, and since we are not God, we have no right to say if that person is worthy of redeemption, or not. Yes, Anakin did a lot of evil, but he did the right thing at the end, and that made him a hero. He was a traegic hero. And yes, he did pay for his crimes, with his death.

    Again, no matter how much evil one does, people can change, and make ammends, if they choose to, and Anakin choose to change for the better, which is why he was redeemed; which made him a hero at the end. If some people were to stop concentrating on one aspect, and look at it from all angles, meaning, looking at the good he did at the end and not just the bad he did before, than they won't be so closed minded, and would have a better understanding of Anakin, the character. There is more to Anakin Skywalker than just some person who became a half man/half machine, who wears a breath mask and force chokes people. He represents the good and bad in all of us, and what can happen when one gives into fear, anger, and hate. We really do not know what we are capable of, when we are filled with hatred, which can lead to rage and murder. Any one of us can do something we would regret later, which is why Lucas is showing how a good man like Anakin Skywalker went bad. He is also showing how people who do wrong, can change for the better, and start doing right. Yes, we all would have to pay the price for the evil we did, but that is all apart of the redeemption process. A hero is not always someone who always does good. A hero is also one who can change from his/her evil ways, and do good. That is what Anakin did, and that is what made him a hero at the end. To say that no one who does evil disserves redeemption when they do right is not only being judgemental, it is proving that the average human being is not as compassionate as they should be, which makes him or her no better than the person who did evil. There is a such thing as forgiveness, and Luke forgave his father for the evil he did to him, his sister, and others, which enabled him to help his father redeem himself. What Luke had is true love and compassion, and that is how everyone should be, not judgemenal.

    Is it that hard to understand? If some people were to stop being so judgemental, than maybe they would understand Anakin a little bit better, and see the point Lucas is trying to get across.

    God bless :)
  3. LordIsurus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 1999
    star 3
    Now, I'm spoil free, but I've always had thoughts on how George could have presented this new trilogy. What I'd hoped was that he'd show Anakin to be doing the right thing. The Republic/Empire would be shown to be a policing government. Much like any government! That when beings try and smuggle contraband into their territory/country, you have a policing outfit that monitors and controls it. The Empire, I'd hoped, would be shown to be that policing outfit. And basically, Anakin would be siding with the cops. Remember when you wre a kid and played cops and robbers? Some kids chose to be cops, but most of them relished the idea of being the robbers. Whats crazy is that neither choice is wrong. And, if one choice is wrong, you'd naturally assume choosing to be the robbers would be wrong. Well, way back in 1977, we all fell in love and rooted for a rebellious group who supported freedom, to the point that smuggling drugs is a good thing. We cheered for the robbers. Now, I'm still not sure what happens in Epi 2 and 3, but I always hoped George would present Anakin to be choosing the right thing. Joining Palpatine was the right move especially to deal with these off the wall rebellious groups. Bascially, joining the police force. So, now, you ask if he's a hero or tragic hero. How many of you out there know someone on a police force? Or is in the army...or any militant policing group. I imagine there are lots. And if they arrest someone or bring people to "justice" <<and I put that word in quotes, cause what is just to some, may not be just to others>> do you not consider them a hero, at some level? I guess it all depends on your point of view. Hmmm..that sounds like something out of a movie.


    Isurus
  4. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Step in the right direction, I agree with, act of total redemption, I don't. I remember hearing in the early drafts that Yoda and Obi-wan managed to save Anakin in the afterlife from eternal damnation, but it was scrapped.

    I don't mind Anakin being forgiven, I mind him being made the savior or hero. If anyone, Luke is the savior, he is the one who saved Anakin's soul, imho.
  5. GS335 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2001
    star 4
    The OT is about Anakin Skywalker's redeemption, and when he saved his son from being killed by Palps, he redeemed himself. He brought balance to the force.

    Even Lucas has said that the OT is about Anakin's redeemption, and he is the creater of Star Wars, and is the storyteller. To ignore the whole purpose Lucas is trying to get across is ignoring the whole point.

    God bless :)
  6. Beowulf Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 28, 1999
    star 5
    Anakin is a tragic hero. The consequences of his actions bring about Darth Vader, and subsequently, the return of Anakin. In the new teaser it foreshadows this by Anakin's dialogue, I think.
  7. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    One thing I cannot stand is the notion that their is one interpretation. This isn't an essay, Lucas is creating a piece of art. I'm sure even he would prefer you develop your own interpretation rather than blindly try and follow what you think he "intended."

    And, am I not free to disagree with Lucas's message?
  8. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Well, just skipping ahead to the end of the discussion at this point... Anakin is an incredibly complex person (along with Obi-Wan and Luke) and the story is very intricate.

    Anakin is a tragic hero, and redeems himself in the end.

    Lucas is sending messages with Star Wars, and to say that he isn't and that it's just a story is, to me, ludicrous. There is so much meaning in the storyline that you could spend years and years analyzing it and still have a lot to discuss.
  9. GS335 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2001
    star 4
    No one is blindly following anything. What Lucas said about Anakin being redeemed is the truth, because he created the character. He is the storyteller, and the creator of Star Wars. And it is obvious that Lucas knows what the heck he is talking about, since HE CREATED THE DAMN CHARACTERS. There is many examples to prove that Anakin was redeemed, and IS a trageic figure, which some of us stated over and over again, and I refuse to repeat myself again.

    If you still want to believe another notion, that is fine. But it is obvious that you are missing the point, and you are letting your hatred for one character keep you from looking at the situation with an open mind. If you were to just open your mind, and stop focusing on all the bad he did, you will see what a complex character Anakin was, and that he was a traegic hero. He is not just some evil person, who wears a breath mask and force-chockes people. There is a man with a past, whom was a good man, but was seduced by the darkside. Fortunately, in ep VI, he was redeemed by his son, brought balance to the force, died as a Jedi, and became one with the force, along side great Jedis, like Yoda and Obi Wan Kenobi. Anyone who has seen all the SW movies to date, and looks at it from all angles, they will see this.

    I am sorry if I sound harsh, but I am tired of saying the same thing over and over, and tired of trying to explain things to people, and show them what is the truth, and they still continue to argue, because they are too set in their ways to see the truth that is in front of them. It is just frusturating sometimes, thats all. No harm intended.

    God bless :)
  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Luke is *not* the hero. Anakin is. The entire saga is centered around the Skywalker family, and specifically, Anakin Skywalker. Only Luke could bring his father back from the dark side, and only Anakin could defeat Palpatine. Those were their destinies.
  11. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    I don't hate Anakin. But think of it this way. If he killed your mother and your father and your children and everyone you loved. Would you be so quick to forgive him because he claimed it "wasn't his fault" and if thirty years later he was really sorry?

    I don't know where this notion came up that I HATE Anakin. I think Anakin/Vader is one of the coolest charecters ever. I just don't think of him as a "good guy."

    In addition, it is extremely naive of everyone on this board to assume that what Lucas said in one or two interviews postively defines the series. Does Star Wars only exist for all of you in the mind of George Lucas? Lucas himself doesn't know what's going to happen, he didn't know until he wrote it, and like with the OT, he reshapes his own intepretation and leaves things some things ambiguous.

    Do I doubt that Lucas intends to reshape the focus of the OT so that Anakin is at the center? No. But none of you can sit there and tell me that the OT wasn't entirely set up to tell the story of LUKE Skywalker. Only at the very end of ROTJ does the idea of Anakin turning back to good come into play.

    And of course Lucas has themes and messages in his film. There are tons of classic storylines and motifs, but I garuntee Lucas is trying to make an imaginative and awe-inspiring movie before he is trying to preach. Message is simple, Good is good and evil is bad. However, as I said before or maybe not well enough a good filmmaker would never limit his art to allow for one singular message or interpretation. Lucas himself reinterprets the piece. And again, he is the cheif vision, but Star Wars is the joint vision of so many people.

    Back to the topic at hand, and after seeing the previews, Anakin's turn obviously IS centered around some sort of anger at Obi-wan. "it's all Obi-wan's fault, he's holding me back," but he's kind of sad and whining when this happens. I wonder what Obi-wan does!

  12. Roger-Roger Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2001
    I don´t want to hate Anakin, but I don´t want to feel sorry for Darth Vader! So far in the PT (including AOTC trailer material) it seems that Lucas wants to change him to a tragic hero. I hope that we will also get to see him as a cowardly traitor. It is tragic if someone so pure such as Anakin in TPM can turn into something so evil as Darth Vader, but I really hope that it doesn´t get excused with heartbreaking love stories. I want to see Anakin choosing the quick and easy path and I want to see him turning to the dark side by his own choice.
  13. GS335 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2001
    star 4
    As I said before, Lucas is the storyteller, and the creator of Star Wars. He has said over and over, that Anakin is the central character, and ep I-VI is about Anakin's downfall, and redeemption. No one is naive to take Lucas for his word. He created the characters, so he obviously knows what the heck he is talking about. He is the storyteller, so he has a better perspective than any of us do, as far as the storyline. If you want to be set in your way of thinking, that is your perogative, but don't criticise anyone for believing what is true.

    And BTW, no matter how much bad you do, people can change, if they truly want to. You don't have to be perfect to be a hero. What Anakin did at the end of ROTJ was a heroic act. What he did was out of love and compassion, not hate or selfishness. Anyone who has seen ROTJ would know this. Yes, vader did some horrific things, but there is a such thing as forgivenes, no matter how badly one treated to. To not forgive means that you, yourself, are no better than the person who did evil. We are not God, neither are we perfect like God, so none of us are in any position to pass judgement on anyone.

    Anakin is a good man, whom went bad, and was redeemed. He died as a good man. If there was not any good left in the man, would Luke really try to redeem his father? He knew that there was still good in him, because he sensed it, through the force. Also, his love for his dad enabled him to help redeem his father. When one does good, and turn from their evil ways, you are good again. There is no excuse for one's evil, but we all can repent, and pay the price, and Anakin did, with his death. And, the force forgave him, and he died as a good man. You can see this, when he is in the lightside of the force, and was joined by Obi Wan and Yoda, two good people. If anyone can't see this, than they are truly missing the important points of the entire film, and the entire saga.
  14. GS335 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2001
    star 4
    SW is about choices, and the consequences of those choices. Lucas does not want us to excuse vader's actions. He wants to show the consequences of the choices one makes. Anakin represents the good and bad in all of us. He is an example of what happens when we let fear, anger, and hate engulf us. Any one of us is capable of becoming monsters, if we let hate control us. And, one doesn't have to be a monster by just force chokng people. One can be a monster by not forgiving, being self righteous, judgemental, back stabbers, and having no compassion. When you don't forgive, than you are no better than the person who did evil to you. There are many forms of evil, and many forms of being a monster. This is all the result of fear, anger, and hatred, which eventually leads to rage and murder.

    And, Anakin made a choice by buring all those dark feelings, saving his son, and bringing balance to the force, thus dying as a good man, and redeemed. If people stop focusing on the OT so much, than they would understand vader better, and how he became like that. There is MUCH more to him than some evil being, who force chokes people. That is why he showed Anakin as an innocent boy, and showing him as a good man in AOTC, who falls in love with Padme, but shows hints of his darkside. He is showing the human side of vader, and how a good man like Anakin became a villian like vader. So yes, Anakin will be shown as a traegic hero, in a sense. Some people seem to be unwilling to be more open minded about this, and to my observation, this is what is causing people to miss the point Lucas is trying to get across.

    Like Lucas said, vader has problems just like any other person.
  15. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    What if Luke killed Vader before Vader turned back? What if Vader was blown up in the first Death Star? Then what would you think?

    Regardless, where did Lucas ever say that Anakin is the central protagonist througout the series? I have never done this, but PPOR.

    And this is not a thread about whether we like Anakin or if we forgive him. (But yes, I'm like Obi-wan, I think Luke should have just killed them both.)

    Do you think Anakin turned through some noble intention and was coerced to darkness, or do you think he succombed to evil of his own will, like a coward, or out of fear?
  16. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    The saga is about fall and redemption, and Luke was right to turn Anakin back, because only he could defeat the Emperor. Only Luke could turn Anakin back from the dark side, and only Anakin could bring balance by defeating Palpatine.
  17. ami-padme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 1999
    star 4
    Would you be so quick to forgive him because he claimed it "wasn't his fault" and if thirty years later he was really sorry?

    I'm not sure who has said it "wasn't his fault" but I certainly don't believe that. Unless events in Ep. III surprise me, Anakin will choose the Dark Side. And beyond that, he'll make the choices to any other bad things after that. Redemption doesn't suddenly retroactively absolve him of responsiblity for his past actions.


    What if Luke killed Vader before Vader turned back? What if Vader was blown up in the first Death Star? Then what would you think?

    Then he wouldn't have been redeemed. What's your point?

    Vader/Anakin, like all of us, has choices before him. In ROTJ, he finally made the right choice, and finally decided to reject the Darkness and return to the Light. It's the fact that he made this choice that matters, not when he did it.



    Do you think Anakin turned through some noble intention and was coerced to darkness, or do you think he succombed to evil of his own will, like a coward, or out of fear?

    LOL. Are those the only two options?

    I don't think the first is true at all. But why is it that the only way to turn is cowardice? If Luke had struck Vader down in ROTJ, and gone Dark Side, would you have said that he suddenly became a coward? Or if Obi-Wan hadn't regrouped himself during his battle with Maul, and had instead killed him out of anger and hatred, would that have been "cowardly"? Again, Ep. III could surprise me, and just have a wimpy, terrified, or cowardly Anakin running into Palpatine's arms or something, but I really doubt that would be the case. He can turn, of his own free will, without being a fearful coward -- those two conditions are not mutually exclusive.
  18. GS335 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2001
    star 4
    It is pretty obvious that you are so set in your way of thinking, that you won't listen to anyone else, especially the man who created Star Wars, and created the characters. Anakin is not just some person who became a villian and killed people. He was a good man, who was corrupted, seduced by the darkside, and had circumstances that caused this. It had nothing do to with him being coward, rather him making some horrible choices in life; choices that was costly to the entire galaxy.

    However, he was able to make the right choice, and save his son, out of love and compassion. When Anakin was redeemed in ep VI, the circle was complete. He brought balace to the force. was redeemed, and died as a good man. Regardless of the atrocities one does, people can change, and become a hero. Anakin had to pay the price for the actions he did before, and he did, with his life. He did not die as some bad person, he died as a Jedi, he died as a good man. As I said before, anyone who's seen all the SW films knows this. Anakin represents the good and bad in all of us.

    Luke had compassion for his father. He felt the good in him, whereas others couldn't. His love and compassion enabled him to get througth to his father and help redeem him. If he would've struck his father down in anger, he would've been no better than vader.

    Anakin represents the good and bad in all of us. SW is about choices, and the consequences of those choices. Anakin made some bad choices in ep III, and a good one in ep VI, one that redeemed him, and made him a hero.

    But, I guess you won't believe that either, because you are so into your way of thinking, that you can't open up your mind, and see things from a different perspective. This is not the wild wild west, where there things are in black and white...it is a little more complex than that. You have a man, whom was good, whom became bad, and whom was redeemed again, and became good again. SW shows us that even the worst of people can change for the better, if they choose to, and vice versa. This is what you see with Anakin Skywalker. This is what Lucas is trying to show everyone. To say that he is wrong, when HE created the characters and wrote the story, and when he has a better perspective than we do on SW because of this, is not only inaccurate, its being a bit non-open minded.

    I don't mean to sound harsh, but I am calling things as I see it, thats all. I am just trying to put things into perspective, thats all.
  19. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    "And of course Lucas has themes and messages in his film. There are tons of classic storylines and motifs, but I garuntee Lucas is trying to make an imaginative and awe-inspiring movie before he is trying to preach. Message is simple, Good is good and evil is bad. However, as I said before or maybe not well enough a good filmmaker would never limit his art to allow for one singular message or interpretation. Lucas himself reinterprets the piece. And again, he is the cheif vision, but Star Wars is the joint vision of so many people."

    1. GS335, Read that again. Also, not even you can deny that Lucas himself has changed his mind about what things mean. Star Wars is STILL a work in progress. And yes, I understand that Luke saved his father, Anakin became good again, and went to Jedi heaven. I don't dispute that, I was questioning how fair that was, as in, I was disagreeing with one of the messages Lucas was setting forth, but I fear that you are allowing your own religious convictions to enter in Star Wars morality, which is perfectly fine if that's the lens through which you view Star Wars.

    2. Lucas may or may not have a "vision." However, as I said before, it's not that I don't "get it" as you seem to think, I just happen to not like aspects of it. Sue me for disagreeing with Lucas. He's not a god, and I have every right to criticize or praise any and all aspects of his work for which I PAY HIM to view.

    3. Ami-padme, we agree, it was Anakin's own fault. Perhaps he wasn't a coward perse as I stated before, but rather he allowed fear to consume him and thus he responded with the intense anger to overcome it. Didn't Luke's fear for Leia almost turn him to the dark side?

    4. GS335, I don't know why you keep lecturing me about concerning going against what Lucas said, but for the record please post some proof of what Lucas "intends the message to be." And great epics rarely have a singular message or code, Star Wars is just a classic fairytale of good versus evil in a galaxy far far away, even inside Anakin, it's his good versus his evil.

    Really, I don't know what we're arguing about here.

  20. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I think what he might be trying to get across is that it doesn't matter how you see it, or what your vision is. It's Lucas' vision, and if he sees it a certain way, well then, by golly, that's how it is. We're free to think of other ways about how things are, but so far as "reality" goes in the Star Wars world, the way Lucas sees it is the way things are, I believe.

    Oh, on the contrary. Epics generally have a lot of meaning to them, and a lot of different messages you can take from them. It's more than good vs. evil. That's at its heart, but so is redemption, among other things.

  21. GS335 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2001
    star 4
    If you read his interviews, you can convey what he is getting across. Watch the movies, and see. Since many people are basically saying the same thing I am, that should tell you something.

    I am not lecturing you, rather than telling you what is true, and what isn't. Everything is not based on scientific fact. The truth comes in many ways. The most obvious choice (common sense) is the truth. And that is, Lucas is the creator, the storyteller, and he knows what the heck he is talking about, because he created the characters. He can do whatever the heck he wants, because it is his creation. He has a better perspective on Star Wars because of this.

    If you want to stay in your train of thought, that that is your thing. But, don't criticize me because my perspective is different than yours. Instead of criticizing, just try to understand what I, along with others are trying to say, and maybe you will have a deeper understanding of the characters, especially Anakin Skywalker. There is nothing wrong with opening your mind, and looking at things in a different, deeper perspective.

    Similarly, there is nothing wrong with me putting spirituality into SW, because if you really look at it, there are spiritual aspects into SW. It is a matter of looking beneath the surface, and receiving the spiritual (deeper) meaning behind it. There are real life meanings in the movies, and since spirituality is real life, it applies as well. Think about it :).

    That is all I am going to say regarding this matter. Instead of me repeating myself again, I would advise to to read over some of mine, Ani-Padme's, and some other's posts, stating that Anakin is both a villian and traegic hero. I just hope that after AOTC and ep III, reading some of our posts, and by watching all six movies after ep III is over, you will understand Anakin a little better, and see that he is not just some evil man, for all the reasons I've said over and over again.

    And BTW, I am not religous. I am a very spiritual person. There is a difference.
  22. GS335 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2001
    star 4
    Exactly Knightwriter :)
  23. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Again, we seem to be arguing about different things here. But let me make it clear that I fully comprehend the uncomplicated themes of Star Wars. It is a good story, yes. But Movies don't have a "singular" answer, and Lucas has given many intepretations as to what the saga "means."

    The saga is many stories. Also, I would venture a guess that even LUCAS HIMSELF would tell you that you should take your own interpretation of films into account, because you do anyway. Not a single one of you knows EXACTLY what Lucas intends for EVERY SINGLE scene. To say your interpretation of Lucas's is the correct one is a false statement. Lucas has given short thematic statements about aspects of the movie, but especially since the saga isn't complete even he cannot do so.

    And I never told you you couldn't believe whatever you wanted, you are the one claiming I am going against what "LUCAS EXPLICITLY STATED or INTENDED."

    Please, someone show me even one quote that I have gone against.

    Ami-padme and i have been having a different argument based on the way we intepret Anakin's charecter. GS355 believe it or not, your brain works and YOU TOO intepret and view Star Wars differently than Lucas. Your own experiences and own emotions come into play when you watch a movie. This is where we seem to really disagree I guess, but I'll say it again. Movie are ART. Star Wars is ART. There are obvious themes of redemption and sacrifice and love, I never denied this. What brought this stem of argument up was the fact that i would dare question the validity of Anakin's redemption.

    I totally understand that Lucas has messages and a story and he is the chief storyteller, but I refuse to accept that there is ONLY ONE WAY TO LOOK AT STAR WARS. That's what we're really arguing about.
  24. GS335 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2001
    star 4
    For the last time, SW has some real life themes to it, and since spirituality is apart of real life, it pertains to Star Wars as well, so please don't criticise me for stating what is the truth.

    I've said it before, thus I will say it again: just go back and rewatch the movies, and watch it with an open mind, and maybe, just maybe, you will see the light. And if you want quotes, go to starwars.com, or any fanrelated site, and look up some quotes by Lucas and see for yourself.

    I just refuse to repeat the same thing over and over, especially when someone just is too stuck in his/her way of thinking.
  25. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    OK, I still don't know what we are disagreeing about anymore, but your ability to accept Anakin as a hero is based on your perspective. Imagine Vader as Hitler. Hitler, as pure evil, because that's the type of Evil Anakin was into. Had Hitler turned good in order to save his son, would you forgive him still?

    Then again, perhaps that comparison is a little unfair.

    But for the record, I now have no idea what you are talking about. Except that there is no "right" way to look at anything.
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